In 1960 I was too young to vote for John F. Kennedy.
In 1968 I was hoping to vote for Robert F. Kennedy
It was not until November 8, 1994 that I voted for a Kennedy, and that was for Senator Edward M. Kennedy in his re-election campaign. I was among the first in my predominately Republican hill town to put out a Kennedy placard.
I was living in Williamsburg and my daughter and I, she at Hampshire College, me fighting the HIV cause in Springfield and Holyoke (MA), both had our first exposure to a paper ballot.
I remember the smiles on our faces when we put those ballots into an ancient box and walked into a sunny Autumn day.
Living and working in Massachusetts I learned and experienced both the positives and negatives of staunch progressivism. The negatives have nearly dissolved from my memory, but the positives shine on, and one of the highlights was working with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.
Like the Senator, the MDPH offered a unique blend of landmark programs, reasoned compromise and demonstrated an acute awareness of the disparity in social justice.
In Boston, Springfield and its surroundings counties, the MDPH supported my idealism, permitted me liberties and succored me during the many losses I experienced as a care provider. When I requested a change in venue for HIV services to Roxbury from the Back Bay, they agreed. When I wanted to open a Living Center in Western Massachusetts for those infected and/or affected by HIV, they provided funding. When I wept at the loss of the many who fell to AIDS, they provided grief counseling.
Like the Senator, MDPH had and has vision.
And like the Senator, I endorse and fight for universal health care.
My wish is for TeddyCare now!